Monthly Archives: June 2007

UnderWater Postcard

I have been working on my second postcard this week, this time it had an underwater theme. I started with a backing of silk paper which I made about a month ago, using various shades of coral pink, watermelon pink, apricot and pale peach. I laid a sheet of hand-dyed tissue-tex which I bought from The Thread Studio over the top which because it was so fine, allowed the pinky tones to show through.

Underwater postcard

Some of the threads I used were unpicked from their original form, such as the sparkly green/purple yarn which I unpicked from it’s companion yarn of matching chunky wool and the variegated “sea-weed” at the bottom right of the photo. This was originally some chunky 1/8th inch wide knitted rayon tubing but once it was undone, it formed a really curly frizzy yarn which was perfect for couching down in a wriggly sort of sea-weed looking plant. Other than that, I used hand-dyed ribbon floss, re-cycled sequins from an old hand-bag, glitter threads and clear plastic “bubble” beads.

The last photo shows the silk paper which formed the backing for the stitchery. The tissue-tex which comes in white or black looks like tissue paper however it is very strong and can be sewn through quite heavily by hand and machine without tearing.

Close-up of postcard

Silk paper backing for postcard

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Gumblossom Postcard

I had a play-day in the afternoon after Mary had returned to her sister and niece for the rest of her holiday. I got out all the interesting materials which I had bought from The Thread Studio plus lots of other bits and pieces and started to make a postcard – the hardest part was getting my brain back into thinking creatively.

I started with some fabric paper which I had made earlier using some brightly coloured yarn from which I had unravelled black and gold yarns from the ball. I had ironed the “paper” which melted some of the fibres – oops!! however Mary had suggested that I use the mistake in the postcard. Well it looked a bit like a twig so that set the theme. I glued three skeleton leaves in place which I had already sprayed with copper paint then covered the whole lot in black net. After I had machine stitched around the leaves and twigs in a copper coloured machine thread and also sewn the main vein of each leaf, I cut away the net from the leaves only, exposing the fine veins. For the gumnuts, I glued on some metal foil scraps which were also gold/copper tones and I used a variegated blue/pink/silver machine thread to sew horizontal lines over the black net background. This livened up the postcard but it was still too “in my face bright” so after I had satin-stitched around the edge of the postcard with copper metallic machine thread, I sprayed the whole lot very lightly with the copper paint. That was much better. Before the gumblossoms were hand-sewn with roughly satin stitched edges then a fringe of copper crinkled Angelina fibres was sewn around each flower and bud, I coloured the area around each bud with a copper Shiva paint stick. I trimmed the Angelina fibres down to size then ironed only the middle of each flower to melt and secure the fringes but I left the edges un-ironed so they are still separate and fluffy. It still needed something so I sewed that multi-coloured dragon-fly in place as he had all the colours of the original background wool in his wings. Well, it was a learning experience, if nothing else!!

These are the materials which I used to make the post-card. Timtex, Spray paint, Shiva paint stick, Angelina fibres, wool, PVA glue, metal scraps, metallic thread and sprayed leaf skeletons.

This is a photo of the finished post-card. Maybe I sprayed too much copper paint over the bright colours of the background material – but it was an experiment in “what would happen if……” so in that respect it was successful.

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Mary’s Holiday with us

It wasn’t nearly long enough, but it was so good to have my friend from New South Wales, Mary Lewis come and stay for a few days. We had a great time together, just as we did last year when I spent two weeks with her. We managed to shop till we dropped at five charity shops, two quilting shops and Spotlight………funny how every shop seemed to have something that we just had to buy! Another time, we went up the hills east of Perth to Kalamunda and Gooseberry Hill and we visited the Margaret River Chocolate Factory in the Swan Valley. Perhaps the best time though was when I took her to visit Ian and Dale Rollerson of “The Thread Studio” where Ian wisely left us alone with empty baskets – I mean to say, the longer we browsed, the more we bought!! I have to admit to being into the three figures by the time I had to pay for my lot!! But what fun!! Even better fun when it came time to play with our spoils!

We also went for a drink at The Rose and Crown hotel which is the oldest hotel in Western Australia still in existence and which was built by convict labour in 1841. The original cellars which include a very deep well and also a bricked in tunnel which used to run down to the Swan River (where boats used to bring the goods and barrels from Perth before the roads were built) have now been opened as the “Cellar Bar”. It feels as if you have been transported back in time down there!!

The Hills were alive with the sound of………..no, not music, birds. Hundreds of bird sounds from the trees in the National Park at Gooseberry Hill. You can just see the buildings of the Perth CBD in the distance.

This photo is of Mary and me, down in the cellars of the Rose and Crown Hotel in Guildford.

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Trip aboard Spirit of the West Restaurant Train

We had a wonderful Sunday recently when Eddie and I plus several of our friends went on a trip aboard the “Spirit of the West” Restaurant train from East Perth station all the way through the Avon Valley to Toodyay. Five star dining in five star restored original carriages complete with five star service. It was a fantastic experience which we will definitely repeat. It was lovely to be able to sit back and relax, enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Avon Valley in the company of friends while being waited on constantly. Here is one view from the window of the carriage. The second photo is a view inside one of the restored railway carriages which date from the turn of the last century. They are so opulent and just sitting in one makes you feel special!! That’s Eddie on the left, with Mike, Pam, Wally, Julie and Phil.
View of Avon Valley

Inside the

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Sewing Weekend Over….

My grand-daughter Taylia came for the long weekend for serious sewing time. We picked her up on Friday evening and her parents picked her up late this afternoon so she has been here for three whole days. On Saturday, she made a West Coast Eagles bag for her Dad because he is a West Coast Eagles fan (Australian Football League) and so is she.

The second day, Sunday, she made a beautiful black bag for her Mummy with a black sequined flower on the flap and a long handle. I hope Mummy appreciates the effort and concentration that went into that bag!

Finally, on Monday, she wanted to make herself a blanket. I found a piece of pink blanketting and then she decided that we should scatter love-hearts all over it………we comprimised and she agreed that they’d be better all around the edge. She chose all the fabrics and we used Vlisofix to stick them onto the blanket. Pat Winter in USA had sent Tay a surprise parcel of crazy quilting braids, laces, charms and other bits and pieces so she decided to use some of them to decorate her hearts. We did half each and we finished the blanket about 3.30pm, about an hour before Mum and Dad and little brother Jesse were due to arrive. She had a great time and this weekend learnt zig-zag stitching, fancy stitching (she did a row of love hearts on some scrap material), stitching backwards on the machine, hand-stitching the embellishments on the hearts and sewing on buttons, flowers and bows, plus changing the thread on top of the machine and replacing¬† the bobbin underneath.

Here’s the fabulous blanket with all the various shaped embellished love-hearts. I’m absolutely “cream crackered” as Eddie’s Uncle Ted used to say……..early to bed tonight!!

Tay's blanket

Tay and Mummy's bag

Taylia with WCE bag

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I’ve Been Tagged By Sharon Boggon

meI’ve been tagged by Sharon Boggon so now I have to divulge seven things about myself that my friends may or may not know…………I really need to think about this one!

1. I am passionate about embroidery and crazy quilting and have been ever since I could hold a needle at about four years of age. My Mum taught my sister and I to sew on her old Singer treadle machine and I made my first dress which I wore to school when I was eight.

2. I think I must have been born about 120 years too late because I love anything Victorian. I love cream lace, faded silk flowers, old christening gowns, muted embroidery thread colours, crocheted d’oylies, tatting, smocking and pincushion dolls.

3. I guess I’m a bit of a greenie because we use power saving light-bulbs, water saving shower-heads and recycle all sorts of stuff in our house. We try to turn off light switches and power switches when not in use, don’t use a heater unless our feet are frozen and shop with calico bags.

4. I started work in a government office in Perth in 1964 and met my future husband there. I married, had three children and here I am, forty three years later working in a government office about 200 yards from the previous one with the same man who has been my ex-husband for 20 years. I feel as if I have gone around in a complete circle……..

5. Believe it or not, I love Country and Western music, old traditional hymns, some 1960s R & R, some quiet Classical music but I can’t stand jazz or heavy classics or modern music!!

6. My studio is my sacred place. Where I have ME time, I love the smell of the material in the boxes, of the new carpet, the old laces and threads – I love everything in there!

7. This is so hard. Ummm………I can’t decide whether I like Western Australia or Yorkshire in England the best. I was born in one place, Eddie was born in the other and we have spent quite a bit of time visiting my mother-in-law who still lives in Hull. Hull and Perth are two very special places for me and I have some wonderful friends in both of them. However, my kids and stepkids and grandkids live in Perth so I guess that’s the place for me – I’d be lost without them.

That’s it. End of story.

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